Ever since I moved to blogging full time, I’ve been trying to up my game on all fronts- Better content, more content, actually sending my weekly newsletters, and a lot of things behind the scenes that you probably would never notice. Those are the things that make the biggest difference in traffic to my site and make it easier to navigate for you guys.
One of the best decisions I’ve made this year was to hire chloédigital to manage the backend of Lemon Stripes, advise me on important design changes, and, most importantly, clean up my SEO. Because SEO optimization is complicated and a concept that I can never seem to fully grasp, I asked them if they would share their top five tips on this topic for a post that is helpful for both bloggers and any entrepreneurs with a website (similar to the way this post on accounting tips did).
I’ll let them take it from here!
SEO is always a trending topic at the chloédigital headquarters. Improving your fashion blog’s search engine ranking is one of the top goals of every style publisher, but despite understanding the importance of search optimization, many are still caught in doubts. Even though there’s plenty of literature on how to optimise websites, there are very few fashion and lifestyle related examples – so at Julia’s requests we’re sharing with you the top five chloédigital tips to help you make your blog as buttoned up as possible!
1. Write the right meta description
Meta Descriptions should contain brief and clear descriptions of your post and pages. You should think of them as the online shopping window to your site, and as such it’s really important that you fill them in to make your display impeccable. Make sure that meta descriptions tell your readers what your post or page is about as this is what will drive them to click your link.
If left blank, Google will pull random phrases from your post and display them in the search results, giving your potential audience a confusing idea of what your content is actually about.
2. Optimize your images
Images can many times be the wow-factor that brings a post to life, making it more vivid and eye-grabbing. What if you have the perfect image to complement your copy – but it’s a very large file size? Then your post will take longer to load, potentially drive readers away, and it will be less likely to rank highly in Google’s search results – aka, not the perfect picture after all! Yet.
When you source or the the most amazing high res picture and you don’t want to affect its quality by resizing it, the answer is clear: optimize it!
Optimized images have the smallest file size whilst retaining their quality to a human eye. Make sure that your readers experience a speedy site while your pictures look crisp and gorgeous. Winner!
3. If you like it then put an alt tag on it
Alt text is a great way to tell Google what your images are exactly about. Since Google’s algorithm can’t actually see your image, all it will know about what it contains is the info you provide about it in written form.
The best way to go about writing alt tags is being brief and concise, avoiding too lengthy descriptions as your text will lose impact, not be indexed efficiently in Google. You also need to make sure that your alt text is relevant to your picture and that you’re not repeating the same tags over and over again, which can actually get you penalised! Get creative and mix up your alt text in images within the same post 🙂
4. Include external links (correctly!)
Linking to external reputable sources, retailers or bloggers within your network is a great way of providing extra value to your readers. But don’t let external linking be an excuse for your audience to leave your site!
Do your external links open in a new window? The answer should be YES!
You should always be looking for ways to keep your readers on your site, so why give them an easy way out with links that open in the same window?
When external links open in a new window you give your readers the opportunity to still look up the useful information of the content you linked to and reap SEO benefits – all while keeping a healthy bounce rate on your site 🙂
5. No-follow is the trend to follow
The â€˜nofollow’ attribute is a fundamental practice you need to adopt if you want to do your SEO right.
No-follow is essential as it ensures that your blog’s linking structure is perceived as â€˜natural’ by the search engines. In fact, as of this year you can actually be penalised by Google if you use take payment in return for featuring a â€˜Do-Follow’ link to another website, as you will be violating their Best Practice guidelines. Aka say no to “do-followâ€, especially for sponsored posts!
Optimizing your blog for search engines is a winning strategy, but also a long race. Good SEO optimization begins (and is sometimes overlooked) by defining your personal brand. Figure out first who your audience is and how they’d like to find you, and how you would like to be seen and perceived through search engine results.
Remember to work consistently on applying tools that can benefit your search performance while maintaining the best user experience on site. Your blog is an extension of your personal brand, so as much as optimization is an important practice, make sure to not get over-stressed about it and run the risk to make your content sound unnatural!
From there on, the digital world is your SEO oyster!